UN ‘Auto-Complete Truth’ Campaign Uncovers Sexism Around the World

You didn’t really even need to see this terrible TRUECar clip to know that some companies still think it’s cool to hawk their products with totally sexist spots on American TV. But Google‘s auto-complete feature offers an even more disturbing look at trends in misogyny around the world—and it led to a really cool PSA campaign created by Memac Ogilvy, the agency’s Dubai wing.

Google auto-complete offers a strange and often unsettling look into the public’s psyche:

Men Should...

The Ogilvy creative team came across some results even more disturbing than that one and decided to partner with the United Nations advocacy group UN Women to create a related PSA campaign. Each image in the series features some of the most common auto-correct results along with one conclusion the algorithm should have displayed but didn’t:autocomplete-sexism2

Here’s the good news: the project has been a great success.

The original story has unsurprisingly become one of the year’s biggest on Ad Week. An Ogilvy spokesperson told Ad Freak that the campaign images went viral after being released earlier this year in the United Arab Emirates along with the #womenshould hashtag—and that the team plans to expand upon the project.

An important point:

“None of the searches were engineered to produce these results; that’s why we were so shocked to discover them.”

…and a helpful screenshot:

The problem is widespread. Some of the top results for “gays should”:

We have to jump on the bandwagon in praising this campaign, because it’s such a great case of using a simple message to raise awareness. We’re not sure exactly what the expansion will entail, but it’s encouraging to think that campaigns like this one can at least educate the public on the depth of the problems at hand and hopefully inspire some to facilitate real change.